“E.V.O” is the fifth album from Brazilian power metal juggernaut Almah. Hopefully you aren’t still sleeping on this band (like I was until only recently) because they have put together an impressive string of releases to this point in their career. While they are most known for having Edu Falaschi (ex-Angra) on vocals, and he is no doubt the star of the band, it is wrong to categorize this band as a poor man’s Angra. While they take plenty of influence from that band, Almah has crafted their own unique identity, especially from their second record onwards. Almah still plays blazing fast, technical power metal when they want to, but they balance that with heavier more aggressive sections, as well as beautiful, melodic songs.
Before you can get to any of that diversity, however, “E.V.O” opens with what every fan wants to hear: high-speed power metal. After a short intro, “Age of Aquarius” explodes into an energetic rager of a song, bringing back memories of Angra’s masterpiece album “Rebirth”. This is quite possibly the best song in Almah’s discography, as the verses maintain an excellent momentum until the choruses, which will have you instantly singing along.
As noted above, Almah is about much more than just speed. There really isn’t anything quite like “Age of Aquarius” on the rest of the album (though "Higher" gets pretty speedy as well), but there is still plenty of worthwhile material. There are a lot of “feelgood” metal type songs, with both “Speranza” and “Infatuated” providing numerous melodies that will keep a smile on your face. The former track does get a bit too happy at times, as some of the “whoa-oh” sections bring back frightening memories of Freedom Call’s flirtation with the use kids choirs in their music (“Innocent World”). Nevertheless, this does not detract from an otherwise enjoyable song too much.
“E.V.O” does tend to have a lot of those semi-ballad type songs, which feature numerous slow, quiet sections before getting heavier. That’s really the nature of the beast with this type of band: their sound covers a spectrum of music broader than just power metal, so you can’t expect aggression all the time. There certainly is nothing as heavy as “Trace of Trait” on this record, for example, but there is still more than enough low-end to keep you happy. Even some of the tamer songs, like “The Brotherhood”, manage to feature some dazzling solos to help keep your interest.
The best thing about Almah is that they’re reliable. With “E.V.O”, and any other Almah record, you know you are getting a professional product with competent songwriting, stellar musicianship, and excellent production. Each of their albums has a few really killer tracks. The remaining songs tend to be enjoyable, but not mind-blowing. They might not be a tier-1 power metal band like Angra, but Almah is certainly an essential band for power metal connoisseurs.
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"Age of Aquarius"
4.2/5 or 84%.
Written by Scott